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Defence Proposes Trial Kangaroo Management

Defence Proposes Trial Kangaroo Management Program

In August 2007 a Defence-commissioned expert panel reported on the environmental impact of the kangaroo population at the Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station (BNTS). The panel recommended actions that would achieve a sustainable balance between kangaroo numbers and grasslands, by translocating as many kangaroos as possible, darting and euthanasing only where necessary, and implementing fertility control measures. Since receiving that advice, Defence has remained committed to translocation from the BNTS.

The ACT Government commissioned its own expert panel to look into these issues in October 2007, advising Defence on 27 February 2008 that its current policy did not allow for exporting kangaroos and that an application to translocate kangaroos from BNTS would not be approved. On receiving this advice, Defence's contractor was directed to stop work on translocation applications and to commence work to cull through darting and lethal injection.

Defence, however, remains interested in researching translocation options for Eastern Grey Kangaroos, particularly given the considerable discussion over recent weeks about the future of kangaroos at the BNTS, . Approval has therefore been requested from the ACT Government to undertake a scientific trial of kangaroo management techniques, including translocation. The cooperation of the ACT Government and key experts in developing a proposal to support this scientific endeavour, will assist in identifying a sustainable and responsible approach to land management at BNTS and other environments.

The trial would deliver scientific evidence relating to translocation, assist the protection of endangered ecological communities and threatened species, and inform the debate on humane management of Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Pending the ACT Government's response to the Defence proposal, the cull of kangaroos at BNTS will be placed on hold.

Defence understands that this is a sensitive issue in the community and is taking every precaution to ensure that these matters are dealt with responsibly and in a manner consistent with its obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

ENDS

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